Udupi dist. observes Maundy Thursday washing feet of men & women

By Raj Udupi
Udupi Today Media Network


Udupi, 14 April 2017: Maundy Thursday was observed across the district with great devotion and washing of feet of both men and women by the chief celebrant on Thursday, 13  April,  indicating the equal opportunities that are being granted to both men and women in the Catholic Church.



It was at the Last Supper while celebrating the Passover festival with his disciples that Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist. Jesus also washed and kissed the feet of his disciples as an act of humility. Catholic churches also commemorated this act with the chief celebrant of the Maundy Thursday mass by washing the feet of 12 lay persons. At the Milagres Cathedral Kallianpur, the Bishop of Udupi Diocese Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo performed this ritual.


In his homily, Fr. Stany B Lobo Rector of the Cathedral emphasised on the significance of the Maundy Thursday, Thereafter he washed the feet of lay persons reminding the washing of the feet of 12 Apostles by Jesus Christ.


Last year Pope Francis changed the rules and included women and girls to the dozen people whose feet are ceremoniously washed in each church on Holy Thursday. As per the Pope’s decree Udupi bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo washed the feet of 12 people, including 5 women (4 lay and 1 religious nun) at the Milagres Cathedral. The same gesture was followed across the diocese.


Following end of the mass, the Holy Eucharist was taken ceremoniously to the floral decorated Altar of Repose while the main altar was stripped of the white covering and removing the flowers and leaving it bare as a symbol of the eve of the passion and crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the next day, that is, Good Friday.


The reverential transfer of the Holy Eucharist to the Altar of Repose was followed by adoration. Thereafter, the faithful dispersed and went to their homes in silence.


Maundy Thursday is followed by Good Friday, the day on which the crucifixion and death of Christ is commemorated. The Way of the Cross to commemorate the Passion of Christ is one of the most important rituals of the Good Friday ceremonies at Catholic churches.


The ‘washing of feet’ ceremony was also held at various churches like Shirva, Udupi, Moodubelle, Belman, Sasthan, Brahamvar, Kundapur, Basrur and other places with special service.


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